Carroll prevails in gruelling Lisburn Triathlon challenge

Paul Carroll regained the title he last held in 2013 when he won the Lisburn Triathlon promoted by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.

Peter Williamson was first out the of pool after the 750 metre swim with Ryan Sharkey, Clifford Rodgers, Michael McDonald and Carroll following.

Carroll took control on the 20K cycle in very windy conditions and was clear of Sharkey and Williamson as they came back to the Leisureplex on the 5K run.

He went on to win by over two minutes from the impressive Sharkey with Williamson, Edward Kearney, Rodgers and Graham Barr next.

Heather Foley retained her Ladies title with an amazing exhibition after winning at Sligo the day before. Only five men had faster overall times.

Emma Jane Sharkey completed the swim in a blistering 9:44 faster than any of the men with Heather Foley and Anne Paul next. Heather closed on the bike and then took over on the run to cross the line for a popular victory.

Emma Jane completed a great day for the Sharkey family by placing second with 2012 and 2013 winner Anne Paul third ahead of Alison McConnell, Elizabeth Dawson and Janine Gordon.

Meanwhile, Laura Graham continued her magnificent season with victory in the Rock N Roll Dublin Half Marathon which included the National Championships.

The Mourne Runner followed her Larne, Omagh, Newry and Cookstown successes with another gold medal performance. City of Derry athlete Catherine Whoriskey the 10,000 metres champion took the silver medal.

Mark McKinstry and Gemma McDonald claimed the major prizes at the Stanley Reid Memorial 5 Miles Classic Road Race at Loughry College, Cookstown.

McKinstry, the Ards Half Marathon winner, started red hot favourite and had only Pierce McCullagh for company after two miles with Richard Agnew and Kevin O’Boyle chasing along with Eoin Hughes and Brian Taggart.

McKinstry then moved away and increased his advantage to cross the line almost two minutes before McCullagh. Agnew came third with O’Boyle, Hughes and Taggart following.

The promoting club Sperrin took the team prize with Cathal O’Hagan M40, Paddy Corr M45, Alan Shaw M50, Kevin Murphy M55, Jim Breen M60 and Francis Boal M65 winning their groups.

The Ladies race was billed as a duel between former Northern Ireland champion Suzanne Higgins and last year’s Loughry runner up Gemma McDonald and so it proved.

The pair were together at two miles with Gemma then taking control to win by forty eight seconds. Sandra McKeown and Paula Arthur-McCarthy completed the top four. Sperrin won this team prize as well.

There 294 competitors all together in a superbly organised event.